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Home of the Brave
2 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
End of Season Two
I’m going to take a break for a few months, or at least until the pandemic is over. Thank you very much for your support. This podcast has been the best thing in my life, professionally, and I couldn’t have done it without you. I hope to be back soon with more stories. Donate
29 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
A Photographer's Account of the Insurrection
The moment the police line breaks. West Portico of the U.S. Capitol, January 6th, 2021. Many Trump supporters I spoke with before the election said there would be violence after the election, and now here we are. I missed last Wednesday’s insurrection, but my friend photo-journalist Alan Chin was there. So I called him.You may remember Alan from a previous episode. I met him in 2001 in Afghanistan. We worked together there and he went on to cover the war in Iraq. He’s covered a lot of war zones. His photos are published in the New York Times and Newsweek. I’ve always been amazed by his spot-on verbal descriptions and accounts, his command of history, and his confidence in the role of photo-journalism.This is a very good report of what it was like at the U.S. Capitol last week. All photos by Alan Chin. Donate Trump in Dalton, Gerogia, January 4th, 2021, railing against fictitious election fraud and ostensibly supporting Kelly Loeffler’s Senate campaign. At the Trump rally in Dalton Georgia, January 4th, 2021. West Portico of the U.S. Capitol, January 6th, 2021. West Portico of the U.S. Capitol, January 6th, 2021. West Portico of the U.S. Capitol, January 6th, 2021. West Portico of the U.S. Capitol, January 6th, 2021. Virginia State Police using tear gas to clear the West Portico of the U.S. Capitol, January 6th, 2021.
28 minutes | Dec 31, 2020
How Much Time Has Gone By: Part Two
The Yellowstone River, Montana. Following the river was a good idea, especially across the Great Plains, because it’s really easy to get lost out there. The view is the same in all directions—rolling hills of dry grass that resemble giant waves on the open ocean. It seemed I would never find my way across them. I was lost at sea. But the river knows where it’s going, downhill to the sea, and it has cottonwood trees and green meadows along its shore. Animals and birds live along the river. People come to hang out and fish. Following the river kept me sane and grounded.The music is from Neil Young’s soundtrack to “Deadman,” a film by Jim Jarmusch. I highly recommend it. Donate On the Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota. Gabe Romo, Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota. South Dakota
39 minutes | Dec 6, 2020
How Much Time Has Gone By: Part One
Back in the beginning of September, two months before the election, I set out on a trip driving across the country talking to people about the candidates and the issues. I collected a lot of interviews and I think now is the time to play them, at length. Most of the interviews are with Trump supporters and some of the things they say may trigger you. You don’t have to listen. You may feel the time for listening is over. This is the first of three parts. The music is from Neil Young’s soundtrack to “Deadman,” a film by Jim Jarmusch. I highly recommend it. Donate South Pass, Wyoming Atlantic City, Wyoming Arthur “Junior” Hernandez Don Metzger
3 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
Culture War: War Zone
Kansas City, Missouri, September 20, 2020. I came upon this man who was unconscious but still breathing. I called 9/11 and an ambulance came. He was able to get up on the stretcher by himself. I think he’ll be ok. I went to New Orleans but didn’t interview anyone because I thought things were getting too sketchy with the spreading virus. So I drove home. And I’m sort of beat. It was an exhausting trip. But I recorded a lot of good interviews, maybe the best ever. Thanks very much for supporting this series. Downtown St. Louis, Missouri, September 26, 2020. I asked them, “What’s up?” One said, “We’re just standing by.” Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Missouri.
11 minutes | Oct 5, 2020
Culture War: Home of the Blues
I’ve been driving around talking to people in the Mississippi Delta, small towns like Clarksdale, Sumner, Greenwood, and Elaine. I heard a lot of stories that I should have known already. People were very friendly. Donate The Mississippi near Mayersville. Near Onward, Mississippi. The courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi, where the men who killed Emmett Till in 1955 were found not guilty. That’s a monument to the Confederate Soldier.
8 minutes | Sep 28, 2020
Culture War: St. Louis
The Missouri River meets the Mississippi River a few miles north of St. Louis. The river is like a half mile wide at this point with tug boats pushing long barges to oil refineries and railroad shipping yards. I was in St. Louis the first couple days after the Breonna Taylor decision came down in Louisville. I went to Ferguson where Michael Brown was killed by police in 2014 and no charges were brought. But it was difficult to find people who would talk to me. Donate
16 minutes | Sep 22, 2020
Culture War: Creeped Out
After following the Missouri across the low plains, I have come to a better understanding of Trump supporters. Donate
12 minutes | Sep 18, 2020
Culture War: Standing Rock
Monument in Fort Yates, North Dakota. I’m following the Missouri River now, heading south down through the Dakotas. I stopped at Standing Rock and talked to some people about the protest four years ago. Donate Along the river/reservoir at Standing Rock.
23 minutes | Sep 14, 2020
Culture War: Trump Country
I’ve been following some roads through deeply red voting districts in Wyoming and Montana. I thought I would not enjoy talking to Trump supporters, but I was wrong. Donate The Yellowstone River near the confluence with the Bighorn River in Montana.
8 minutes | Sep 8, 2020
Culture War: Introduction
I’m starting a new series of reports from a long trip across the country. I think we used to have a cultural divide, now we have a cultural war. Donate
13 minutes | Aug 9, 2020
The Round River
I went fishing in some beautiful mountains I first visited in 1968 when I was a Boy Scout. When I was older, we took our kids there so they could see it as well. It’s still very beautiful, but things have changed due to global warming. Donate
8 minutes | Jul 5, 2020
Time To Get My News From A River
Photo by Kristi Jone Jones My thinking has been off, my approach has been wrong, I need to go fishing for a while. Donate
15 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
The Death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez
Photo of Carlos from a social media page. WARNING! This is an extremely disturbing soundtrack of a man dying while being held down by police. You may not want to listen to it. It happened in Tucson on April 21, 2020. The video was released by the Tucson Police Department on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. You can watch the full video here. I’m posting the audio because this is what America feels like to me now.Carlos’ grandmother called 911 on April 21st because Carlos was having a nervous breakdown. The Tucson police came to her house and found Carlos hiding behind a car in the garage, naked and apologizing. They put him face down on the floor and handcuffed him. After a few minutes they covered Carlos with two yellow plastic tarps and continued to hold him down. You can hear him stop breathing.Over the last year, police killed more than 1000 people in the United States. Carlos’ grandmother meets police when they arrive on the scene. The police rush in to the house. The police tell Carlos’ grandmother to get away. Carlos hiding behind a car in the garage. The police put him on his stomach and handcuff him. One of the officers holds down Carlos. The officers put a yellow plastic tarp over Carlos and continue to hold him down. The police continue to hold down Carlos as he begs for his grandmother. After the police realize Carlos is not breathing. Administering CPR. Too late.
27 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
Coming To Ground
I recorded these interviews with my family two weeks ago, before George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. Now they seem unimportant, like from another era. Except that in my family it’s the younger folk who have been mostly fucked by the virus pandemic, and it’s been young people, mostly, who’ve been out on the streets protesting. I hope their efforts lead to real change in our society. Donate
6 minutes | May 22, 2020
Coming to Ground: Introduction
Following the news is like watching a competition for the worst case scenario and I’ve grown weary of all the blaming and shaming. Now we can’t trust anyone, not even ourselves. But at some point we’re going to have to come together in order to survive. I’m working on a story where I interview people in my family about how they’re coping with the pandemic. Not everyone is doing well, and it’s pretty emotional for me, so I need to take some more time putting it together. In the meantime, thanks very much for your support.A link to an excellent documentary about Alex Caldiero. Donate
26 minutes | May 1, 2020
It seems more of us are paying attention to our neighborhoods lately, so perhaps this is a good time to replay this story, produced in 1988. I still live in the same neighborhood, but it feels different now. It’s like there was a tall tree in my front yard but now the tree is gone and only a stump remains. I am stumped. I used to depend on trust—standing or sitting close to strangers and holding a microphone less than a foot from their faces. Now that’s not going to happen again for a while. In the meantime, here’s to remembering the good old days. Donate
12 minutes | Apr 10, 2020
Echo People by Trent Harris
My friend Trent Harris has a problem caused by the coronavirus. It’s not a big problem compared to a lot of other things that have come up recently, like the possible collapse of the economy and thousands of people dying. Trent’s problem is more like a temporary embarrassment. Basically, his reputation is on the line. Donate Swackhamma tells Harvey a secret. Echo People Episode One on You Tube.Echo People Episode Two on You Tube.Trent Harris’ website is called the Echo Cave.Here’s the This American Life episode about Trent’s film, the Beaver Triology. The cast and crew of Echo People, with Mystery Mountain in the background. Harvey Harris upon seeing Mystery Mountain. Trent Harris wondering what he has done.
23 minutes | Mar 28, 2020
Our Show by Erica Heilman
Shana from Achterarder, Scotland. My friend Erica Heilman has a podcast called Rumblestrip. She drives around Vermont and talks to people about their lives. Last week she was sitting at home, like everybody, trying to figure out what to do, and she decided to ask her listeners to send her audio recordings of what and how they’re doing under self isolation. A lot of people responded, quickly, and within a couple days Erica posted the first episode of a series she’s calling Our Show. If you’d like to send Erica an audio recording of what’s happening where you are, here’s the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.Rumblestrip websiteThe song at the end is Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen, performed by The Band. Donate Looking out Erica Heilman’s apartment in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Recording ambience from Erica Heilman’s window in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
10 minutes | Mar 17, 2020
The Dry Wall
This story was originally broadcast on All Things Considered in 1993. The ground was shifting under my feet back then and I had to figure out what to do. Now it’s shifting again, this time everybody’s in it together. There are things we can do, stories to tell, that can make us feel better. Thanks for listening and supporting this show. Donate
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